The winger position in soccer is one of the hardest positions.
Soccer is a game that involves several positions. Each position requires specific skills and abilities.
Today, I’m going to talk about the wing position in soccer and everything you should know about it. This includes answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Let’s get started.
- What is a winger in soccer?
- What is the role of a winger in soccer?
- The winger position on the pitch
- Is a winger a forward or midfielder?
- Is wing a good position to play?
- How do you position yourself as a winger?
- What makes a good soccer winger?
- Do wingers play defense?
- What wing should you play in soccer?
- How do wingers score more goals?
- How can I improve my winger game?
- Winger common mistakes to avoid
- Skills to have as a winger
- Some of the best wingers in soccer
- Learn how to play winger
- Wrap Up
What Is A Winger In Soccer?
A winger is a player classified as a forward and playing in the widest position on the pitch and close to the touchline. A team can play with a right and a left-winger in soccer.
What Is The Role Of A Winger In Soccer?
The main role of a winger is to run over to one side of the pitch and cross the ball to the striker. Wingers provide a width and stay wide to receive the ball. They also have the freedom to move inside the opposition’s box to score goals. Sometimes, it also depends on the formation of the team. For instance, in a 4-3-3 soccer formation, a winger has fewer defensive responsibilities and is only required to attack.
In a 4-4-2 formation, the winger is often required to make some defensive efforts.
What Is The Winger Position On The Pitch?
As you can see from the image above, the winger has a very high position on the pitch.
A team can not play with only one winger. If a team has one winger, they necessarily need another one to occupy the other side of the pitch.
Some teams can even play without wingers. But it depends on the formation.
Is A Winger A Forward Or Midfielder?
Because wingers play on the sides of the pitch and there are also midfielders(Right and Left midfielders) playing on the sides, this tends to confuse amateurs.
But a winger is considered a forward and not a midfielder.
Some teams can play with a right and left midfielder, but they are not considered wingers.
Wingers, instead, receive the ball and have to dribble the right or left-back and create a goal-scoring opportunity.
Note that there can be some exceptions. For example, if a team uses the 5-3-2 system, meaning 5 defenders, 3 midfielders, and 2 strikers.
Two of these midfielders will use the width and also play as high as a winger. This means they will support the strikers and often drop into the middle when their team has possession.
Is Wing A Good Position?
The winger is a very good position but requires a lot of speed, stamina and dribbling skills.
Most winger players are fast, short and physically strong.
If a team has a good winger, their tactic can be based on the wings.
For example, a team with a tall striker might decide to play only long balls and crosses. And this is often executed by wingers.
How Do You Position Yourself As A Winger In Soccer?
If you play in a pro team, positioning yourself as a winger depends on the coach and the tactics. But if you play a Sunday league game with your friends, you can position yourself on the right or left flank, depending on your prefered foot.
For instance, if you are right-footed and want to cross the ball for the strikers, you can play on the right side of the pitch. But if you aim to dribble and enter the box to curve the ball and score yourself, you might want to play on the left flank.
A player like Arjen Robben was really good at it.
What Makes A Good Soccer Winger?
What makes a good soccer winger is the ability to take their responsibilities to face the opposition’s defence and create a goal-scoring opportunity. A good winger has to bring danger to the opposition’s side frequently.
When a team has good wingers, the opposition defence has nightmares, especially the right and left-back.
Sometimes, the coach will ask the winger to provoke the opposition’s defence by dribbling so they can commit several fouls and hopefully receive a yellow or red card.
Because the truth is when defenders are facing a fast and good forward that is giving them a hard time, they tend to commit several fouls.
So, a winger can be used as a tactic to sanction the opposition players.
Do Wingers Play Defense?
The primary goal of wingers is to attack. However, they can also make some defensive efforts from time to time to help the team not concede goals.
For example, during a corner kick, wingers can drop back to defend and bring that superiority.
What Wing Should I Play In Soccer?
What wing should you choose to play? Well, First, you should play on the wing you feel most comfortable on. Then, you can also choose your wing based on your skills.
For example, if you are right-footed with good dribbling and shooting ability, you can decide to play on the left-wing. This will allow you to cut in throughout the game and score yourself.
However, if you prefer to dribble and cross the ball for your teammates, then the ideal should be to play on the right side of the pitch. This will allow you to use your most powerful foot to cross the ball.
How Do Wingers Score More Goals?
Sometimes, the top scorers of a team can be wingers. But, how do they manage to score more goals than strikers and the rest of the team?
Well, wingers score more goals by always cutting inside and shooting. They use the striker to attract defenders so they can have space to hit the target.
If a winger is right-footed and wants to score more goals, it is preferable for them to play on the left wing so they can easily cut inside and try to score themselves.
How Can I Improve My Winger?
Here are 5 things you need to improve your winger:
- Work on improving your pace. You need to have a very strong acceleration
- You have to be able to create something on your own. Try to always look for a 1v1 situation so you can set up a teammate or finish the attack yourself.
- Try to perfect your crosses. Having the ability to perfectly cross the ball will give you a great advantage.
- Go to the pitch and start training your crosses. Try to hit a specific area in the box and try to do it while running. This is going to give you the most realistic match situation possible.
- Get in shape. If your condition is top of the line, it’s going to help you.
Winger Common Mistakes To Avoid
Here are some common mistakes I often see with wingers:
- Some wingers are afraid to take their responsibilities. They are scared to dribble and lose the battle.
- Wingers who bring the ball backwards. This is one of the most frequent mistakes with wingers. A winger is supposed to move forward no matter what.
- Making the wrong decision. Some wingers would shoot when they have to pass/cross and vice versa. Hence you have to know when to cross and when not to.
- Not waiting for the striker to be in the box. I often see wingers who, after getting rid of the defender, cross the ball without even seeing if the striker is in the box or not.
- Doing too much with the ball. When a winger has dribbled one or two defenders, he/she wants to do more and makes the striker wait too long.
These are the most common mistakes wingers make on the pitch.
Do you recognize yourself in any of them? I’m sure you do(Laugh).
Winger Skills To Have
Here are some skills to master as a winger:
Playing as a winger requires speed because you are going to spend the whole time running on one side from defence to attack-
Also, as a winger, speed is very important because you are going to receive Trough passes or long balls.
So, you need speed to make runs behind the defenders and give your teammate the perfect opportunity to pass you the ball through the channel.
Because of all the offensive and defensive efforts, a winger needs endurance.
A soccer game lasts for 90 minutes.
So, stamina is a must if you have to run the entire game.
The main purpose of a winger is to cross the ball for the strikers. If a winger player doesn’t have an excellent crossing ability, it will be pointless.
You have to master the art of crossing the ball.
Remember, practice makes perfect.
Train at least 3-5 days a week. You don’t need many people. You can do it alone or with a friend.
Having a vision on the pitch doesn’t apply only to midfielders, but this also applies to the winger.
A winger needs a great vision to see his teammates positioning and pass them the ball when necessary.
Some Of The Best Wingers In Soccer
I’m going to end this article with some of the best wingers in soccer. You can learn from them by watching videos on YouTube.
The winger position requires speed, stamina, vision and great crossing ability.
If you have those skills, you are ready to play as a winger.
I really hope you have gained value from this article.
Are you a winger? Do you like this position? Let us know in the comment section below.